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Cruise Reviews

Cunard Line

Cunard Line

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General Information
Cunard Line
Peter Shanks
Ships in Fleet: 3
Year Established: 1840
Corporate Location: Santa Clara, CA
The Cunard Line Fleet
Destinations & Itineraries
Onboard Experience
Past Passenger Program
Links to Cunard Ships:

Cunard Line Overview
Started in 1840, Cunard Line was originally a transatlantic postal service hired by Queen Victoria (founded by Sir Samuel Cunard, of Halifax, Nova Scotia). That same year Cunard Line became the first company to take passengers on regularly scheduled transatlantic departures, aboard the Brittania. There are many other cruise industry firsts in Cunard's heritage. For instance, the first passenger ship lit by electricity was Servia (in 1881). The first gymnasium and health center aboard a ship was on Franconia (in 1911). In the modern era, Cunard is currently the only cruise company that has a ship sailing year-round transatlantic cruises (Queen Mary 2 & Queen Elizabeth).

Cunard emphasizes the fact that it has been around since the Golden Age of Ocean Travel, when merely traveling aboard a cruise ship (usually crossing the Atlantic) was a grand and luxurious event in itself. Because of this, Cunard Line strives to recreate such experiences for their passengers. Sticking with the Golden Age concept, Cunard refers to their cruise ships as "ocean liners," bringing to mind the majestic vessels of that era. What Cunard does very well is blend today's modern amenities with yesterday's traditions, in a very tasteful manner.

Cunard Line is actually owned by the Carnival Corporation (since 1998). The Cunard ocean liners are fast, large, and luxurious (when Queen Mary 2 was released in 2004, she was the largest, fastest, and most expensive cruise ship ever built). The Cunard ocean liners are built with world and transatlantic cruising in mind. Their staff is courteous and professional, and they are fortunate to have a fairly high percentage of repeat passengers. Although their fleet is small, Cunard Line is without question one of the world leaders in premium cruising.


Cunard Line Destinations
Cunard Line's ocean liners travel all around the world. In particular, Cunard is very well known for their transatlantic and world cruises. As mentioned above, Cunard is the only cruise line that offers year-round transatlantic cruises (Queen Mary 2 & Queen Elizabeth). Cunard also offers cruises throughout the Americas, the Caribbean, Europe (including Scandinavia and the Mediterranean), and Africa.

Cunard also offers what they call "Getaway" cruises. These are short (3- to 4-Night) cruises that usually sail during a holiday (such as the US Independence Day).

Cunard's transatlantic cruises are most commonly offered as 6-Night cruises, between New York and Southampton. There are also a few 8-Night cruises between New York and Hamburg, Germany and a few 7-Night cruises between New York and Cherbourg, France.

On a Cunard world cruise you have the opportunity to travel across the globe in style, without the necessity of a flight. Cunard's world cruises can be purchased in their entirely (over 100 nights long), or in smaller segments (as short at 13-nights in length).

Onboard Cunard Line
Onboard a Cunard ocean liner you will experience top quality service, excellent dining, and will be among many experienced travelers from all over the world. As such, a typical Cunard Line passenger is a well-traveled, sophisticated person that enjoys the finer things in life.

Cunard's White Star Service is a program that they've developed to ensure that their guests are treated to top quality customer service while onboard all of their vessels. The focus of this program is personal attention, and it shows! Onboard a Cunard ship you will feel important, as their staff is always ready to assist you with whatever needs you may have.

Cunard has one of the most diverse and attractive onboard enrichment programs at sea, known as the Cunard Insights programme. During a Cunard cruise you will have the opportunity to truly broaden (and stimulate) your intellectual horizons, as there are frequent opportunities to interact with acclaimed experts and prominent luminaries. This is done through a series of informal lectures, Q&A sessions, debates, social gatherings, and workshops. Guest speakers onboard Cunard cruises have included astronauts, mountaineers, explorers, professors, authors, doctors, actors, politicians, sports commentators, scientists, and the list goes on!

Maintaining their British heritage, Cunard's liners offer a traditional daily afternoon tea service. Served by white-gloved waiters, this is a popular daytime activity to participate in onboard a Cunard ship. Also popular, London's Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts (RADA) offers workshops and shows throughout a Cunard cruise. Onboard a Cunard liner you will also find a British pub, a casino, a spa, a champagne lounge, swimming pools, shops, a large show lounge, a buffet, a computer center, dance club, and much more. Cunard is also well known for their grand ball rooms. During a Cunard cruise you will typically have the opportunity to go to a themed ball of some sort, such as their Ascot Ball or the Black and White Captain's Ball. Queen Mary 2 even features a planetarium, where you can go to view amazing shows. For single female travelers Cunard offers what is known as Gentleman Hosts, men that serve as dining and/or dancing partners.

Maintaining a sense of the past, Cunard's guests dine in certain venues based on the accommodations they're staying in. Inside, Outside, and standard Balcony guests all dine in the same two-seating dining room (the standard Brittania or Mauretania Restaurants - depending on the ship). These dining rooms are very good (top notch relative to the rest of the cruising industry); however, guests staying in higher accommodations get a much more high-end dining experience. For instance, guests booked into Brittania Club balconies on QM2 get to dine in the Brittania Club. This is an exclusive club-like private (single-seating) salon that serves special a la carte selections (in addition to the standard Brittania Restaurant menu). Guests staying in "Grill" accommodations (a type of suite onboard Cunard's ships) are fortunate enough to enjoy a true (single seating) five-star dining experience, with table-side preparation. There are two Grill levels (Princess Grill and Queens Grill, Queens being more premium). The Grill accommodations are much more expensive than non-Grill, but they really take you a step up in terms of luxury and exclusivity. The Grill dining experience is one of the finest in the world.

Cunard Line Past Passengers
Cunard Line's members-only past passenger program is called the Cunard World Club. Everyone that has already taken a Cunard cruise is automatically enrolled in this program. There are four levels to the World Club: Silver, Gold, Platinum, and Diamond. Membership benefits include cocktail parties, newsletters, and special discounted pricing. View our Cunard World Club page for additional details.

Cunard Line Fleet
The Cunard Line fleet currently consists of 3 luxurious ocean liners, Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria, and Queen Elizabeth. Queen Elizabeth 2 (which was the oldest liner in the fleet) has been sold to a Dubai-based company where, since November 2008, is no longer in the Cunard Fleet.

Queen Elizabeth

Queen Elizabeth
Inaugural Year: October 2010
More Info on Queen Elizabeth
Queen Mary 2 - QM2

Queen Mary 2 (QM2)
Inaugural Year: 2004
More Info on Queen Mary 2
Queen Victoria

Queen Victoria
Inaugural Year: 2007
More Info on Queen Victoria


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